One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In full "promethea moth". A large North American saturniid silk moth, Callosamia promethea, the male of which has dark brown wings with pale margins. Compare slightly earlier "Prometheus".
Mid 19th century. From scientific Latin promethea, specific name (in Phalaena promethea; D. Drury Illustr. Nat. Hist II. 18), feminine of classical Latin Promēthēus (adjective) of or associated with Prometheus from Promētheus.
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